Provides identity and future to great Sicilian wine producing territories
A beautiful place with a new future
Our story and our journey began at Ulmo. In the middle of the 1980’s we planted our first vines around the 16th century farmhouse which the family has always owned; a beautiful place full of memories which we wanted to provide with a new future. We built our first winery in 1995 on the banks of the Lake Arancio and its nearby woods, in really delightful countryside. We also established the Iter Vitis museum, surrounded by a ‘Collection meadow’ of different Sicilian and Georgian vines, inspired by the idea of enhancing the rich Sicilian winemaking tradition. The nature footpath, La Segreta, leaves from the winery and leads to exploration of three more different paths which border the vineyards, discovering untouched corners and unexpected views. Hidden within the Menfi hills and with 160 hectares of vineyard, the Dispensa estate is the beating heart of all our activities. The family houses are within the Baglio, while around them lie our production, administrative and planning centres. The larger part of the company’s production takes place here, and we have built two wineries; the large and the small. The Infernotto, inside the small winery, is our family caveau, with a collection of our favourite labels from all over the world and all the Planeta vintages.
An estate of great elegance
Vittoria is one of those places redolent of history and the long agricultural tradition of our family; even our ancestors disagreed about whether it would be better to cultivate vines here or at Menfi. We learnt from children to recognise the aroma of Cerasuolo di Vittoria, thus it was natural to travel along the island’s southern coast to produce it here, in its own great country. The Dorilli estate was established by renovating the big country house which stood at the centre of an ancient landholding; we replanted the vines which had not been grown there for a long time, we restored the winery and the large rooms which are now reserved for hospitality. With its typical Liberty style, the whole estate now expresses the fascination of great elegance together with the unmistakable atmosphere of an old country house.
Noto was the third stage of our journey in Sicily. In 1998 we founded our estate in the district which coincidentally has always been called ‘Buonivini’. This gave us the idea of coming to discover the winemaking potential of this country, cradle of Nero d’Avola, which after a long history at present remained almost unknown. Here we confronted the hardest and best challenge, to give again an identity and future to a great Sicilian wine producing territory. The beauty of these hills which slope to the sea and where the vineyards stretch between almond groves, has made us carefully seek the closest integration possible with the landscape to provide minimum impact. Sustainability and hospitality in an informal atmosphere which cares for nature have, since the first day, characterised this project, with the building of the Cantina Invisibile and the restoration of the grape press and the Case Sparse.
The establishment of the winery
In 2008 after searching for a long time for the best land for our vines, we stopped on the north side of Etna, among the lava flows and the woods which surround Passopisciaro. Here we planted our Nerello and Carricante vines and in 2012 the winery was also established. The estate spreads both south and north of the village. To the north, in the middle of the beautiful Sciaranuova vineyard, at more than 800 metres above sea level, we invested in the careful restoration of old buildings, which today represent the centre of our hospitality. To the south, near the Feudo di Mezzo vineyard, we built the Feudo di Mezzo winery right in the centre of a fifteenth century lava flow. Nearby we planted Torreguarino, Pietramarina and Montelaguardia vines, ideal for our white wines. At Sciaranuova we transformed part of the old terraces into a Theatre in the Vineyard, where every summer the Sciaranuova Festival is held, one of the cultural activities that we have inspired and produced.
A small estate with big meaning
La Baronia is the smallest of our estates – 8 hectares of vineyard, surrounded by 20 hectares of ancient olive grove – but it is full of meanings, of memories and ideas. We began this new project with the idea of restoring the production of Mamertino, among the oldest wines of the island. Production of Mamertino dates back to 289 B.C., supplied by the Mamertini who helped Julius Caesar to appreciate its quality, to the extent that he offered it on the occasion of the banquet for his third consulate and mentioned it in ‘De Bello Gallico’, and to Pliny who placed it in 4th position in his famous classification of 195 wines. All began with a meeting with the Fondazione Lucifero, owners of this magnificent and historic land, where agriculture had deteriorated since 2011 and was by then almost completely abandoned. Together we began working towards restoration of a culture and a biodiversity which would otherwise have been lost; where before there was only undergrowth, now there are new vines bordered by delightful natural footpaths. Today this project is the symbol of our idea of sustainable viticulture, not only from the point of view of cultivation and production, but also from environmental, cultural, social and economic aspects.
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